Wrongful Termination Lawsuit: Suing the Right Parties
Wrongful termination, also known as wrongful dismissal or wrongful discharge, can be a legally intricate matter for both employees and employers to navigate. It is essential to have a clear understanding of what qualifies as wrongful termination and the rights employees have under the Employment Standards Act. This article provides an overview of what constitutes a lawsuit for wrongful termination, including its definition, the parties against whom such a lawsuit can be filed, and the subsequent steps after initiating legal proceedings.
Suing for Wrongful Termination: What Is A Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination is when an employee is terminated from their job, and they do not receive the appropriate notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice. If an employee does not receive the proper notice, they may seek to file a wrongful termination claim.
The amount of notice depends on various factors, including:
- If the employee has an employment contract;
- If the employment contract is enforceable;
- Length of service;
- Character of employment;
- Whether the employee was terminated with or without cause.
Depending on these factors, and whether there was an employment agreement in place, a terminated employee could be entitled to the minimum notice pay outlined in the Employment Standards Act (the “Act”) or the common law notice standard, which could amount to a month per year of service.
Although employers have the right to terminate employees without cause for any reason (except for protected grounds under the Human Rights Code), if the employer fails to provide the employee with sufficient termination entitlements upon their dismissal, the employee would be considered wrongfully terminated.
However, if an employee is terminated for cause, they are not entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice. The standard to prove termination for cause is extremely high. With this in mind, if you have been terminated for cause but feel that your alleged conduct does not amount to a for-cause termination, then you may have been wrongfully terminated and may choose to file a wrongful termination claim.
Who Can I File A Lawsuit for Wrongful Termination Against?
Assuming you are a non-unionized employee, you can file a wrongful termination claim against your employer to try and recover compensation in lieu of notice and other damages you may have incurred in relation to your termination. Filing a lawsuit formally begins the litigation process.
If the amount of damages you are suing for is under $35,000, the lawsuit would need to be brought to the Small Claims Court. For damages greater than $35,000, the lawsuit would need to be filed at the Superior Court.
What Happens After I File A Lawsuit for Wrongful Termination?
Assuming the matter is brought to Superior Court, once the statement of claim is filed, the employer’s lawyer will file their statement of defence. The employee’s lawyer can file a reply to the statement of defence, but it is not mandatory.
Once the pleadings have been filed, the next step of a lawsuit would be to determine if the matter should proceed to mediation or examination for discovery. It is important to note that Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor are mandatory mediation jurisdictions. This means both parties of the lawsuit must attend mediation before proceeding to trial.
There are many steps to a lawsuit in Ontario, and it may seem challenging to navigate this process on your own. Before filing a wrongful termination claim, speaking to an employment lawyer can simplify this process and ensure a beneficial outcome.
- Wrongful Dismissal And Constructive Dismissal: What Damages Can You Claim?
- Wrongful Dismissal Claim: How Much To Ask For
- Wrongful Dismissal Vs. Termination Without Cause
- How To Write a Termination Letter
Contact Achkar Law
Navigating the complexities of wrongful dismissal can be challenging, and you may have questions about your rights and options. Whether you’re an employee facing an unjust termination or an employer dealing with legal matters, Achkar Law is here to help. Don’t let wrongful dismissal issues go unanswered. Take the first step towards resolution by contacting Achkar Law for a confidential consultation today. Protect your rights and find the legal support you deserve.